Steven Howard, Award-Winning Author, Shares the Foundations of Humony Leadership
Updated: Sep 22
Steven Howard is the award-winning author of 22 leadership, business, and professional development books with over 40 years of senior leadership experience in the US, Asia, and Australia. His latest book is Humony Leadership: Mindsets, Skills, and Behaviors for Being a Successful People-Centric Leader. In awarding the book a Gold Medal, the Nonfiction Authors Association called Humony Leadership "a significant work with an important mission."
"I created the word Humony by combining human, humanity, and harmony," explains Howard. "Humony Leadership emphasizes the need for leaders to create workplaces of wellbeing and harmony. Coming out of the pandemic, we all need more harmony in our lives, especially in our workplaces."
Howard says he created the concept of Humony Leadership while contemplating how leadership mindsets needed to change as the business world emerged from the pandemic. He believes our leadership models are broken and filled with obsolete leadership practices – especially the concept that leaders need to be people managers.
"From the leaders I was coaching, I sensed that the old ways of operating and managing were no longer working," he says. "It was painfully obvious that people no longer want to be managed. They want to be led, motivated, trusted, and involved in decisions on implementing strategies. Managing people is a 1980s construct not relevant or applicable today."
His advice to leaders is simple: You manage things, processes, policies, projects, and procedures. You lead people. This is why leaders must change from people managers to people-centric leaders.
This is one of the key mindset changes he feels leaders need to make for long-term, sustainable success. He explains that your mindset is how you interpret what you see and experience. It is your fundamental perspective and thoughts on how to be a leader.
He recommends that leaders evolve their mindsets in four specific areas to elevate the performance of their teams and the individuals on those teams:
● You lead human beings – not assets, resources, staff, workers, or headcounts. And your top priority is to develop the people you lead.
● Starting all relationships on the basis of trust. He coaches leaders to stop saying, "This is how you earn my trust." Instead, he advises to tell them you trust them and explain how they can lose your trust.
● Creating cultures of appreciation where you regularly and frequently recognize efforts and express gratitude for those efforts. Howard says appreciation and gratitude are two of the most important, and less utilized, levers you have as a leader. A recent Hubspot Research study revealed that 69% of employees would work harder if their efforts were better recognized.
● Understanding that leaders at every level of organizations are responsible for creating workplace climates of harmony and wellbeing, including promoting the emotional and mental wellbeing of team members.
As a result of his thought-provoking and leading-edge thinking on leadership, Howard was named a 2023 Top 200 Global Biggest Voice in Leadership. He was also named to the CREA Global 2023 list of top influencers for his thought leadership and writing.
In addition to being a highly prolific writer, Howard is an accomplished platform and virtual speaker who delivers Leadership Keynote Speeches globally for public and corporate conferences, off-site meetings, leadership retreats, product launches, and association meetings.